PayPal CEO talks company growth and its vision for the future

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman recently spoke to Bloomberg about the company’s growth last year and its ambitions for the future.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • PayPal processed $936 billion in total payment volume (TPV) in 2020 and says it's on track to reach $1 trillion a year. Digital payment usage surged during the pandemic, with 43% of US consumers saying they used mobile apps like PayPal and Venmo more in 2020, according to a report by CouponFollow. To meet that demand, PayPal launched new products like Pay in 4—its buy now, pay later solution—and its cryptocurrency service. PayPal also expanded Xoom, its remittance business, into more countries to make it more widely available. These efforts may have bolstered TPV by tapping into new demand.
  • The payments giant expects to reach 400 million global users by June, but it’s setting its sights on one day reaching 1 billion. In 2020, PayPal added 72.7 million net new accounts to reach a total of 377 million accounts globally, a 24% increase from 2019, when net new accounts increased by 37.3 million. Merchants were a driving force behind PayPal’s user growth thanks to its core products, from its one-click online checkout button to in-store innovations like its QR code payments, which helped meet consumer needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Indicative of merchant growth is PayPal’s merchant services volume, which grew 33% YoY, up from the 27% YoY growth it posted in 2019, suggesting that these offerings likely brought in new sellers.

PayPal is hoping to become a super app as it explores innovations that’ll help morph it into a “one-stop shop for all consumer financial needs.” PayPal is already moving beyond its existing offerings and inching toward other financial services, such as crypto, which it noted as a key growth area in 2021: Schulman recently said that PayPal’s new dedicated crypto unit will focus on helping increase the utility of digital currencies. PayPal has also expressed interest in expanding into banking and stock trading. These could be the logical next steps for the payments giant considering that Square, a major competitor, is reaching into the space with new stock trading options and recently debuted its industrial bank, Square Financial Services. Doing so could aid PayPal’s one-stop financial services shop ambitions and perhaps help the company increase its user base and volume.